Duke Nukem is the explosive debut of the known universe's greatest high-flying, wise-cracking, alien-punching, babe-saving, gun-toting badass. A man who would eventually go on to become a one of a kind gaming action hero that would soon combine ass-kicking and bubblegum-chewing in a completely revolutionary way. Duke begins here.
User reviews: Very Positive (114 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 1, 1991
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Packages that include this game

Buy The Duke Nukem Platformer Pack

Includes 3 items: Duke Nukem, Duke Nukem 2, Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project

 

About This Game

Duke Nukem is the explosive debut of the known universe's greatest high-flying, wise-cracking, alien-punching, babe-saving, gun-toting badass. A man who would eventually go on to become a one of a kind gaming action hero that would soon combine ass-kicking and bubblegum-chewing in a completely revolutionary way. Duke begins here.

In a world ravaged by Dr. Proton’s villainous ambitions, the original video game action hero must rise against the evil scientist’s army of sinister Techbots. And although Duke isn’t exactly what the Doctor ordered, he’s exactly what the world needed.

Key Features:

  • Back with the Boot: Delve into Duke’s debut in this re-release of the 1991 classic 2D sidescroller, adapted to run on modern computers.
  • So Old, It’s New Again: Animated characters, huge levels, four-way scrolling levels and blockbuster cinematics make for a 1991 experience that was so ahead of its time, it’s like playing a game made in 1994.
  • The Atomic Pistol: With collectible upgrades, the unstoppable Atomic Pistol is the only gun Duke will ever need.
  • Bring Backup: Unlimited continues, built-in hints, cheat mode and more ensures that Duke has what it takes to get the job done.
  • The King of Action: Drinks soda. Eats turkey. It’s Duke Nukem, baby!

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS:Windows XP
    • Processor:1.8 GHz
    • Memory:512 MB RAM
    • Graphics:Direct X Compatible GPU
    • Hard Drive:7 MB HD space
    • Sound:All sound is PC speaker
    • Additional:If you can't run this game, you might need to upgrade your Atomic Toaster
    Minimum:
    • OS:OSX 10.6.8 or later
    • Processor:Intel Core Duo 2GHz+
    • Memory:1 MB RAM
    • Graphics:64MB Video memory
    • Hard Drive:7 MB HD space
    • Sound:All sound is PC Speaker
Helpful customer reviews
34 of 34 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 28
This game isn't much to look at, but in terms of game play it is solid.

Duke Nukem begins life here with this 1991 action platformer. It was originally released under an old-fashioned concept called Shareware. For games the concept was pretty good; Apogee would release the first episode absolutely free, no obligation. After playing it you could order the game and get all three episodes. Believe it or not the original DOOM was marketed this way too.

The experience of playing through 30 levels of Duke Nukem is a good one. As you can see from all the screen shots on the store page, the player has a health gauge so you won't die from touching the wrong thing only once. The challenge is decent because you can't quick save, you have to do the whole level in one go; saving is only possible between levels. The levels can be long and a bit confusing, but since there are so many goodies hidden all over it really isn't a bother to go exploring if you're lost. At the end of every level it is possible to score up to 7 bonuses. Some examples are: 1) shooting all the cameras in the level, 2) finishing the level without taking damage, and/or 3) picking up the letters D,U,K,E in the correct order. This makes for additional game play challenges if one is so inclined.

The only real problem with this game is that it was originally created for MS-DOS, so Interceptor packaged the game with DOSBox. GOG has been doing this successfully for many years, so it isn't really a problem, but you do have to be prepared for a truly old-school game; no mouse, no joypad, crude sound.

At a time when so many are trying to develop appealing retro-style games, here is a solid game from the era they are trying to capture. I can recommend it based on the fun factor alone.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
11.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 24
Duke Nukem is a fun DOS platformer, and while the sequels are far better in every way, DN1 deserves a playthrough if you like DN2, or if you just want to know where the series was born.

There is a story, but this game came out before the days of games like Half-Life, a time where you either were up to your toes in the story, maybe a little text inbetween levels. Or you drowned in it *cough*MGS*cough*. DN is the first. There is so little story that it isn't even worth talking about.

The gameplay is standard platformer, jump around, and shoot things. Simple but fun.

Duke Nukem is a simple, fun, and short platformer. I would recommend it.

-MandatoryAlcatraz
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 29
A classic for the time, Duke 1 has definitely shown its age. But that doesn't mean you won't have some fun with it, especially if you're a classic DOS gamer or just like the Duke a lot. If you're not a fan of the PC speaker though, this might not be your game.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 23
it is old and it is AWESOME.!

An arcade game it plays fast and smooth,
getting challenging after time but still fair,
after time you must react faster and must know the levels (need more trys not just a run through)
and you get points for everything, for get health items, weapon items, key items, for getting hit by an pink rabbit robot.

i first play it since steam release, but i can say i love it.!
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 29
Duke, the kick-butt action hero we all know today, makes his first debut in this title: Duke Nukem (sometimes referred to as Nukum in the game itself.) Sadly, with quite a few less one-liners.

Gameplay:
In Duke's first outing, he partakes in some action platforming similar to that of the original Commander Keen, focusing heavily on jumping and shooting through sets of levels divided into episodes. However, unlike Commander Keen, Duke's blaster has an infinite amount of ammunition and can be upgraded, as well as having no lives system, but rather a health system. I personally like this setup better because it allows for more exploration of the levels, faster gameplay, and is overall more enjoyable, I never have to worry about that ONE hit I might take from a flying enemy and have to restart the whole level with one less life. Duke was known for his run-and-gun action rather than precision platforming, and this reflects that very well.

But it's not all mindless shooting, sometimes just firing at anything can lead to a penalty in regards to some item pickups. For example, a soda can will refill one health bar and earns 200 points if not shot, but if you do fire, the soda can launches itself upward into the ceiling and explodes. However, if you can manage to pick up the can before it hits something, it will reward you with a heftier 1000 points and no health boost. Little things like these really spice up the gameplay and help prevent it from going stale.

You can also earn character upgrades as you progress through an episode, such as high-jump boots or a grappling hook, as well as upgrade your pistol as to how many shots you can fire at a given time. All of these additions really help the game stand out from just being a more colorful Commander Keen clone.

On controls, they feel much less floaty than Keen did, and felt more responsive and tactile, fit for a more fast-paced game and are another improvement from Keen. Also, the game runs flawlessly in DOSBox.

In regards to the division of episodes, they are all very similar and feature barely any differences, only level designs and some new textures. There is hardly any difficulty increase and the third episode felt shorter than the other two. This is kind of a disappointment looking back on it, but really, I didn't care when playing, the game kept me engaged the whole way through and I never felt that I desired much more. My taste for the game only began to go stale midway through the third episode after playing one very unforgiving and unpleasant level. Otherwise, this never really bothered me.

Graphics:
For a DOS game released mid-1991 using only 16-color EGA graphics, with a three-person graphics team, Duke Nukem looks stellar. Every sprite is detailed and colorful, every animation is fluid (as it can be, really), and hell, what other DOS platformer of the time can you think of succeeded in, or even attempted, water reflection? Duke Nukem does, and to my knowledge there are probably not many. When I first saw my sprite and the background reflecting on the water below me, I was pleasantly surprised. This definitely contrasts with Keen's comparatively bland presentation.

Sound:
Well, like many DOS games of the time, this game has no real soundtrack, only PC Speaker sound effects. To some, the PC Speaker was a real nightmare to the ears, and during gameplay, hearing those lasers hum for longer than five seconds made me want to throw my headphones out the window. But really, you get used to it, or just turn off the sound.

Story:
The story and dialogue here is as basic as something I would write for English in the 4th grade, nothing Shakespeare-level here.

All in all, this is a great DOS platformer, easily the spiritual successor to the original Commander Keen trilogy. I highly recommend anyone to pick it up and it's sequels in the Platformer Pack for $9.99 and have a blast.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 3
Great old timer.
I forgot how cheesy, silly and cheap can be the level of difficulty in old games. It's what You can expect from old Duke Nukem. Jumping, shooting, sometimes a little puzzle to solve... and a big bag of cheap tricks to throw in Your face! The sound is obnoxiously pleasing, like the graphics - hurting my senses and bringing me tears of joy at the same time. Good old game, goooood old game :) - 100 times better than DN Forever!
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
To enjoy this game, you really need to appreciate 'ancient' gaming. The earliest Nukem game I had ever played before this was Manhattan Project and I was surprised at how bland this game was at first. Soon after diving into it, you begin to understand some of the time that went into it. The levels get more intense upon progression, tactics start to become prevalent, and the storyline seems to progress. The levels are set up similar to Doom. There are three 'chapters' with ten levels each and a boss battle at the end of each level. As far as primitive gaming goes, this is a solid 7.5/10.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 15
The primitive sounds, the effects, the vivid colors... It made me feel like I was playing on my grandpa's PC again. The moments when I shoot one extra ray of my gun and blow THAT extra soda can I needed to survive the next wave of enemies... all coming back to me. I feel... happy :D Now, talking specifically of the game, it's a very simple to understand kind of plataformer. Classic. If you like the genre you'll have an awesome time playing it.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 30
The good: Responsive as ever, classic and good fun
The bad:
It's the original Duke Nukem, play it and enjoy a gaming classic.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 26
I really enjoyed Duke Nukem and I would recommend it to others because it's a such a classic that everyone should have a go at at least once. The main point of this game is to get to the exit of each level by navigating through a 2D maze and killing enemies and destroying blocks and power ups as you go. I really love the vintage arcade sounds within the game as well as how the game scrolls with shifting groups of blocks instead of scrolling by individual pixels. Although it was released in 1991 this game had stood the test of time as a classic 90s platformer.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 25
Fun, simple, and chock full of secrets, Duke Nukem is both an intriguing time capsule and a good game to this day. Duke Nukem has a good amount of content and a balanced difficulty curve. You play as "Duke Nukum" as you run around collecting soda, chicken, balloons, colored keys, and more as you battle robots. You're never told where a level's exit is, so you're left to explore and figure things out for yourself.

There's something entirely fascinating about Duke Nukem. I wouldn't say I have a fondness for old games, but this game puts you in a certain mindset, like when you played games as a kid. COOL, SHOOTING THINGS! I CAN WANDER AROUND! SECRET HEALTH PACK!

Overall, Duke Nukem is a game you should check out. It's aged well for a DOS platformer, it does level design better than most games today, and its sense of exploration and arcade-like elements are fun.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 10
I played this game to death, and in fact several keyboards as well, during the early 1990's and I'm delighted to say that it is still entertaining.
Yes the graphics are dated, which for a game over 20 years old is to be expected, but no more so than a lot of the 'indie' platformers out there today. The gameplay is a simple jump/shoot/avoid glowy things/collect keys mechanic that has stood up very well over the years.
An entertaining distraction for a half hour or so - I have found however that my 36-year old arthritic hands can't quite handle the mammoth hours that my 16 year old self put into this game :)
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 4
There's not much to say about this platform classic. Despite being somewhat old (therefore having outdated graphics and sound effects), it's still really fun to play it. As for the story, it's pretty basic: Chase and defeat the big boss. Nothing original but still, it's always something satisfying to do. Duke was already a badass back then and he didn't even needed to wear a pair of shades or spit out one of his famous quotes to prove it. Overall, if you're into platformers I'm pretty sure that you're gonna enjoy it.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 19
It's the King of Pain Title that Started it all from my DOS Childhood Days! The Original Duke Nukem back & here to stay on Steam! Apogee Software Rocks the MS-DOSBOX!
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
What a great retro game and a reminder of what gaming used to be!
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 21
I love this game so much, it still has good mechanics and is a joy to play. Only one thing, IT IS REALLY FREAKING DIFFICULT.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 12
I just happened to run out of gum while playing this game. What do I do now?
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 9
Just pretty gaming classic.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
Every gamer should buy this game to see where Duke Nukem really started.
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